Nursing studies

The NMC code and you

To remain on the Nursing and Midwifery Council register as a qualified nurse you will have to revalidate every three years. This involves demonstrating that you are incorporating the NMC Code into your day-today practice and continuing professional development.

To remain on the Nursing and Midwifery Council register as a qualified nurse you will have to revalidate every three years. This involves demonstrating that you are incorporating the NMC Code into your day-today practice and continuing professional development.

 

Picture credit: Charles Milligan

 

Upholding dignity: prioritising people is the first statement of the Nursing and Midwifery Council Code.  Although your focus will be on gaining your registration, it is a good idea to become familiar with the Code as early as possible

 

A vital part of the nurse’s role has always been to promote the wellbeing of patients, prevent further ill health and communicate their needs to colleagues. Over the past 20 years, nurses have increasingly taken on roles traditionally done by junior doctors. But the fundamentals of nursing care must still be delivered, and the Code explicitly states that nurses must be able to do this effectively.

 

Try not to get caught up in ‘exciting’ technical skills on placements. Instead, take pride in delivering quality holistic care – offering kindness, compassion and respect: you are treating each patient as a valued human being.

 

Throughout your training you will come into contact with patients and their families and carers from all walks of life. You may have different morals, religious beliefs or backgrounds, or you may simply take a dislike to someone. But you have to develop the skills and temperament to put your feelings aside and focus on your patients. So, if you find certain situations or people difficult, talk to colleagues or fellow students to identify what will help you remain professional and non-judgemental.

 

The first statement of the Code, Prioritise people, states that you must:

 

  • Treat people as individuals and uphold their dignity
  • Listen to people and respond to their preferences and concerns
  • Make sure that people’s physical, social and psychological needs are assessed and responded to
  • Act in the best interests of people at all time
  • Respect people’s right to privacy and confidentiality

 

Take the time during training to enhance these ‘softer’ skills. Discuss this aspect of the Code with your mentors and talk through real-life scenarios and how to manage conflicting priorities.

 

Spending time developing your reflective skills in relation to the Code will help you to learn from your experiences. You will also become more familiar with what is expected of you as you transition to the role of registered nurse.

 

  • To help you reflect on your practice, write down what you do well, what you need to improve, and what you can do differently. Also consider the following:
  • How would you like to be treated if you were in hospital or attending a community healthcare setting?
  • Think of a patient you have cared for – is there anything you would have done differently if they had been your parent?
  • Be as honest as you can. Setting false expectations can leave patients frustrated. Instead of saying ‘I’ll be back in a minute’ say ‘I will get back to you but it will probably be in ten minutes’.
  • Is the language you use empowering your patients or telling them what to do? Are you offering choices where possible?

 

Know when to ask for help. Putting patients’ needs first may mean asking for assistance. Working within your capabilities and taking responsibility for your actions are essential for your and your patients’ safety.

 

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